Killing of top Mexico drug lord 'Tony Tormenta' may boost rival Zetas cartel
Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, also known as 'Tony Tormenta,' the highest-profile leader of the powerful Gulf Cartel, was gunned down by Mexican government forces this weekend.
Mexico’s armed forces killed one of the nation’s top drug kingpins this weekend, but signs that the death will lead to more violence and turf battles have terrified residents.
Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, also known as “Tony Tormenta,” the highest-profile leader of the powerful Gulf Cartel, was gunned down in the northern state of Tamaulipas after hours of street battles resembling urban warfare.
President Obama called Mexican President Felipe Calderón to congratulate him for bringing down the cartel leader and the two governments said Mr. Cardenas’s death was a major blow to organized crime. The US State Department had targeted the drug lord with a $5 million bounty after he’d inherited the cartel from his brother, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, following his arrest in 2003.
Cardenas’s death comes as Mexico has scored a string of victories against major drug figures over the past year, including the December 2009 killing of Arturo Beltran Leyva, leader of the Beltran Leyva criminal syndicate; the August arrest of the man fighting to replace him, American-born Edgar Valdez Villarreal, known as “La Barbie"; and the July killing of Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, a top boss in the Sinaloa cartel.